For more holiday happenings in the South County area, don’t forget to check out our annual guide here.
Friday, Dec. 2
Free Photos with Santa
4:30-7:30 p.m. Bring your cameras and snap a selfie with Santa at the Dana Wharf Courtyard. Photos are free. El Torito Courtyard. 34521 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.496.5794. www.danapointharbor.com.
21st Annual Yuletide
6-10 p.m. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley invite the public to kick off the holiday season with their annual event, featuring live music and catering by Sapphire Laguna. Valet parking is provided, and holiday casual attire is encouraged, especially for those participating in the second annual ugly sweater contest. Tickets start at $175. 30622 Steeplechase Drive, San Juan Capistrano. www.bgccapo.com.
‘Miracle on 34th Street’
8 p.m. The Camino Real Playhouse presents the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. The show will run every weekend through Dec. 18. Tickets range from $27-$37. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.8082. www.caminorealplayhouse.com.
Saturday, Dec. 3
Boat Rides with Santa
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Santa and his helpers listen to holiday wishes on a 20-minute harbor cruise. A $5 donation, which will be given to the El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club, is suggested. No reservation required. Event also runs Sunday, Dec. 4. Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 888.224.0603. www.danawharf.com.
Gingerbread House Academy
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sit in on one of two gingerbread house decorating workshops at Monarch Beach Resort. The pastry team will offer tips for decorating with the seemingly endless amount of candy and frosting available. There will also be a special visit from Santa, complete with pictures. Cost is $85 per gingerbread house, with a maximum of four people per house. One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point. 949.234.3200. www.visitdanapoint.org.
Holiday DIY Card and Candle Making
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Attendees will learn ornamental calligraphy techniques and make a set of holiday cards with ink and color. After a break for lunch, the owners of Makana candles will guide guests through a candle-making class. This class is limited to sixteen students only, please register at www.scartsupply.com. Cost is $125 and includes the candles made at the class to take home. 1531 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.369.6603. www.scartsupply.com.
Heritage Hill Victorian Christmas
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Relive the holiday customs of yesteryear for one final time as Heritage Hill Historical Park holds their last-ever Victorian Christmas. The park’s four historic buildings will be festively decorated for the season with live music, dance performances, local craft vendors and food for purchase. Enjoy hands-on activities including Christmas ornament and card making, candle dipping, butter churning, Victorian-inspired crafts and games and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. 949.923.2230.
Carols Ancient, Carols New
2 p.m. Enjoy exquisite carols for the Christmas season sung by the De Angelis Vocal Ensemble at the Basilica at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.deangelisensemble.org. $30 general admission, $25 for seniors and $10 for students. Mission Basilica, 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
4:15- 9 p.m. The annual San Juan Capistrano Tree Lighting Ceremony includes pre-shoe entertainment, a live stage show and, of course, the lighting of the holiday tree. Elsewhere, there will be free photos with Santa Claus at Los Rios Park, a puppet show and a free Christmas train ride and crafts. Mrs. Claus will entertain children at the O’Neil Museum, and ZOOMARS will open the gates to their petting zoo at no charge and offer a train and hay rides for a nominal fee. Historic Town Center Park. 31852 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.5911. www.sanjuancapistrano.org.
Christmas at the Casa
5-7:30 p.m. Christmas at the Casa is a public holiday celebration featuring festive decorations, live music, carolers, a bell choir, a talking Christmas tree, crafts for children, cookies and refreshments, and a visit from Santa Claus. The bell choir will walk with guests from Casa Romantica to the San Clemente Community Center at approximately 7:30 p.m. for the City’s Christmas Tree Lighting at 8 p.m. Casa Romantica. 415 Avenida Grande, San Clemente. 949.498.2139. www.casaromantica.org.
Santa’s Village by the Sea
5-10:30 p.m. Avenida Del Mar and the Community Center turn into a holiday village. There will be the local favorite snow hill, Santa meetings and other activities, all leading up to a tree lighting ceremony at 8 p.m. on the corner of Del Mar and Calle Seville. 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente. www.san-clemente.org.
Christmas at the Mission
5:30-8 p.m. Mission San Juan Capistrano offers a snow play area for kids, cookie decorating, visits with Father Christmas, food vendors, holiday shopping and live music performed by the Dickens Carolers, chamber singers, orchestra musicians and mariachis. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children age 4-11. Free for members, active military with ID and children 3 and under. Cans of food are welcome for the Serra Pantry Food Drive. 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, www.missionsjc.com/christmas.
Sunday, Dec. 4
Big Band Christmas Concert
2:30 p.m. The Almighty Jazz Band, also known as Jazz 4 Jesus, will present a Big Band Christmas concert at Community Presbyterian Church in San Juan Capistrano. The Almighty Jazz Band is a 17-piece ensemble with an extensive repertoire of music, from swing to sacred to modern big band hits. The concert will be suitable for families and children of all ages. All proceeds from the free-will donations will be used to support the Community Presbyterian Church community concert series. 32202 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.1502.